Government Imposter Scam Targets Businesses
State officials are warning businesses about a new government imposter scam.
Attorney General William Tong and Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas issued the warning Feb. 2.
Tong and Thomas said businesses should watch out for notices from a company called C F Division Services, LLC also known as CT UCC Statement Service.
According to Tong and Thomas, the notices are designed to look like an official government document, asking businesses to pay $90 for a copy of a Uniform Commercial Code report.
A UCC report is a form filed by a creditor to place a lien on a property.
While the notice looks like an official government document, Tong said the company has no affiliation with the state and “their costly services are entirely unnecessary.”
UCC reports can be filed and accessed for free through the secretary of the state’s website.
Tong said his office is investigating, and they sent the company a letter demanding information about the businesses it targeted.
The notice does include small print from the company saying it is “not affiliated with any state or government agency” and that businesses are “not required to use our services.”
However, Tong said the disclaimer may be insufficient and the letter stated that “consumers may be deceived into purchasing the company’s services.”
Businesses that receive one of these scam notices are urged to not respond and to file a report with the attorney general’s office.
“We are investigating this company and will not hesitate to use the full extent of our authority to protect businesses and consumers from deceptive practices,” Tong said.
Officials said businesses should be wary of any notices or mailings that resemble official government documents, telling them to purchase something or to pay a fee for a service.
They should also look out for mailings that create a false sense of urgency with terms like “IMPORTANT,” “OPEN IMMEDIATELY,” or “TIME SENSITIVE.”
“Every business filing with the secretary of the state can be done easily and directly with our office, not through costly middlemen attempting to take advantage of you and your business through deceptive mailings,” she said.
Three years ago, state agencies fielded more than 100 complaints from businesses that were the target of a scam seeking additional fees to file annual reports.
Businesses can report scams or file a fraud complaint through the attorney general’s website or by calling 860.808.5318.
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